This episode is one of the most exciting and funniest episodes in a while. I absolutely loved it for so many reasons which is why I knew I had to recap it upon finishing the episode. Sit back for another funny and humorous episode of ‘Running Man’ with fun and simple games, with some plot twists and turns (maybe), and loads of jokes and teasing.
Running Man: Episode 423 Recap
Our eight beloved cast members meet up on the grass for the episode’s opening scene. As usual, they point out one another’s outfits and notice that Jae-suk, Suk-jin, Ji-hyo, and Kwang-soo are all wearing colors resembling the Teletubbies or that Jong-kook is finally wearing a bright yellow color. In the midst of talking, a bee lands on Kwang-soo’s yellow shirt and this scares both Suk-jin and Jae-suk. However, Kwang-soo calls them out for lying as he saw the bee fly the other direction and not at them LOL.
The eight then discuss about other topics such as Suk-jin forgetting his passport at Running Man’s recent fanmeeting in Taipei (omg I’m so jealous I would do anything to see the Running Man cast) or how about Suk-jin jokingly slapped Jae-suk in the face at a recent outing. Suk-jin gives Kwang-soo a taste of his slap, but Kwang-soo jokes that it just felt ticklish. LOL.
The PD then explains the rules for the episode: each member will be ranked from 1st to 8th place and be given different perks/benefits plus crown badges depending on their ranks. The crown badges will especially be helpful in the final mission of the episode.
To determine the first ranking list, the members use a roulette with their names on it. Whoever is picked on the roulette will automatically be in first place and have the privilege of ranking the rest of the members. Of course, everyone wants their name to be chosen, but it is ultimately Kwang-soo who the roulette lands on. Everyone automatically begins to appeal to him to win him over. Se-chan, Jeon So-min, and Haha all jump around him using the excuse of being the ‘Maknae line’ (Haha eventually gets pulled away by Yoo Jae-suk because he’s not that young LOL) while Suk-jin begins to chant Kwang-soo’s name. Yoo Jae-suk wants to also win Kwang-soo over so he and Suk-jin lift him up in the air only to drop him head first on the ground shortly afterwards. LOLOL.
Kwang-soo eventually decides to rank the members according to their fashion sense. After placing himself first, he ranks Haha second. Jong-kook is last (the members tease him for often wearing dark clothes all the time) while Song Ji-hyo is third. Yoo Jae-suk is right next to Jong-kook in 7th place and Se-chan too joins them in 6th place. Kwang-soo debates between placing either So-min or Suk-jin as fourth place, but eventually chooses So-min. Suk-jin’s wife used to be a professional stylist twenty years ago so that gave him an advantage in placing fifth. Lol.
Our 8 cast members then move on to their first mission: Quiz! Knowledge is Power. The members will participate in quizzes and earn their rankings based on whether they answer the question correctly first or not. The buzzer for each person will also differ depending on their ranks. There’s also a plot twist: one of the cast members is an absolute member who knows ALL the answers to every question. If the remaining 7 members accurately vote for the absolute member, the absolute member will be placed last in rankings. However, if the absolute member manages to successfully trick the members in voting for someone else, they will end up in first place.
Upon learning the revelation, everyone automatically becomes suspicious of Kwang-soo and Se-chan. LOL. To divide the eight members into an upper and lower rank, they start off with an O and X quiz. After hearing the question “do cobras die when they bite their tongue”, our eight members move to stand behind either the ‘X’ or ‘O’ sign. Ji-hyo, Kwang-soo, Suk-jin, and So-min are behind the ‘X’ line while the other four are behind the ‘O’ line. Those behind the ‘O’ line win and are automatically placed within the upper ranks. Everyone then grows more suspicious of Se-chan. He’s not that smart or bright, how did he manage to get the question right?
To test his intelligence, they have Se-chan write out the english words ‘kitchen towel’ again like he did two weeks ago. They also test Suk-jin and Kwang-soo’s spelling of the words and tease them for spelling the words incorrectly (only Se-chan managed to get it right but that’s because he was probably traumatized from the first time around LOL).
Moving on, Ji-hyo, Kwang-soo, Suk-jin, and So-min all battle it out in a quiz. Their buzzer are plastic frame wraps and each member has a certain amount of plastic wrap on their frame depending on their ranks. Of course, since Kwang-soo is ranked higher than the rest of the members, he only has one wrap while the others have more. After a series of attempts and wild guesses, Kwang-soo guesses the answer correctly and earns 5th place. The next battle for 6th place occurs and this time the members are to whistle with pieces of candy in their mouths. Ji-hyo manages to win 6th place so she’s done with the quizzes. This leaves So-min and Suk-jin battling it out for 7th place wher Suk-jin beats out So-min to win 7th place. So-min is last.
It’s now time for the four upper ranks to battle it out for first place. For the first round, their buzzer are gourds and they each have to break the gourds with their heads in order to answer the quiz. Se-chan manages to answer the first question right on his first try which raises more suspicions against him. How did he manage to win so quickly? Everyone assumes he must be the absolute member. With Se-chan ranking first, the three remaining members battle it out for second. Jong-kook breaks two big gourds with his head to answer the question correctly and wins second place.
This leaves Haha and Jae-suk left for third place. The third question is a bit complicated with difficult answers to remember so the two have some trouble answering the question. However, Haha eventually reigns victorious and he reacts excitedly in beating quiz expert Yoo Jae-suk. Of course, Suk-jin finds his exaggerated reaction suspicious, but everyone else still believes that Se-chan is the suspect.
So the voting for the absolute member takes place. It comes as no surprise that the majority vote for Se-chan, but it does surprise the members when they learn that some members voted for Kwang-soo and Jong-kook. The PD then informs the members on whether they voted accurately for the absolute member or not: the members failed to catch the absolute member. Unlike what they thought, the absolute member wasn’t Se-chan, it was Haha. During the individuals interviews that each cast member was doing for the show, Haha was given the answers to the quizzes during his interview and memorized them then.
Se-chan explodes and rants to the rest of the members for essentially pinning him down as the absolute member when he constantly reiterated that he wasn’t. LOL, poor Se-chan! Since Haha was able to successfully trick the members, he automatically wins first place and ranks the rest of the members. Suk-jin and Ji-hyo are towards the end because they doubted Haha during the mission. Kwang-soo joins them in 6th place just because, LOL. Jae-suk is originally in second place but his constant chattering pushes him down to fifth. So-min wins second, Jong-kook is third, and Se-chan is fourth. Each member also receives crown badges based on their ranking.
It’s now time for lunch. There’s enough food for all the members to eat, but the amount that each gets to eat depends on their respective ranks. Of course, those in the upper ranks eat a lot more and barely leave anything behind for those in the lower ranks. As last place, Suk-jin only has rice to eat. He smears his pile of rice with some sauce from the other dishes so that his rice is tasty at least. Poor Suk-jin!
It’s time for the second mission! Before they can start, the members have to decide their ranks again. Using the roulette again, the name that the roulette lands on gets to call a friend and decide on how to rank the members. Lucky Ji-hyo is chosen and she calls her friend/co-worker Jang Yoon-ju (who she works with on another variety show). Ji-hyo lets Yoon-ju ranks the members based off of looks. Of course, this leads Ji-hyo to be ranked first, So-min as second, and Jong-kook as third. Kwang-soo is fourth while Se-chan ranks fifth and Suk-jin is in sixth. In a battle of who is the least good looking, Yoo Jae-suk is ultimately chosen as the winner and places last. LOL.
For the second mission “Break the Wall to the Future”, there are eight styrofoam doors. Behind each door is either a mattress or water/mud. The members get to choose which door they want to run into, but at their own expense. Those who run and fall into water or mud are eliminated and the rest move on to the next round until there is only one winner. Depending on their ranks, each member also has to wear certain type of shoes when running to the doors. Ji-hyo gets aquatic shoes while Jae-suk has to wear acupressure slippers. LOL. And just like with the first mission, one member knows which doors are safe and which ones are not.
After choosing their respective doors, So-min finds herself doused in water while Jong-kook falls into mud. Therefore, Jong-kook lands in 8th place and So-min is in 7th. The remaining six members discuss afterwards who they believe the absolute member is. They first accuse Seok-jin because of his unwillingness to switch spots with So-min in the first round. In the second round, they pick their doors through a quick game of ‘rock paper scissors.’ Suk-jin is last so he gets the last door that no one wants. When Jae-suk offers to switch spots with him, Suk-jin automatically accepts. However, Haha also points out that Kwang-soo seems a bit suspicious since he didn’t want to change his spot with anyone.
And so we find out who will be running into a mattress and who will be falling into mud or water. Kwang-soo breaks through his door and makes it out onto the other side safely. So does Se-chan and Haha. However, Suk-jin isn’t as lucky as he falls into water. Even Ji-hyo’s luck runs out as she falls into mud. Jae-suk is safe and he joins the other three guys in battling it out for first place. Ji-hyo lands in 6th place while Suk-jin is 5th.
Suspicions towards both Kwang-soo and Jae-suk increase, but the two continually deny the accusations. The third round of the second mission starts and the four men decide that they’ll place ‘rock paper scissors’ again to choose their doors. Kwang-soo ranks last so he gets the last door not chosen. Se-chan and Jae-suk are safe while Kwang-soo and Haha fail. Haha falls into mud so he ranks 4th while Kwang-soo comes in at 3rd.
It’s the final and last round of the game. Through another game of ‘rock paper scissors’, Se-chan chooses door #1 while Jae-suk goes with door #2. Se-chan ends up falling into water so he places second while Jae-suk reigns as the winner. This doesn’t sit well with the remaining cast members and they grow suspicious of Jae-suk. The members then reconvene to vote for who they believe the absolute member of this mission is. They assume that it’s either Kwang-soo and Jae-suk and even have trouble voting at first. However, after some discussion, they eventually vote for Jae-suk. Unlike the first mission, they’re correct this time and Jae-suk is last. He was the absolute member as the members had predicted.
As a penalty, Jae-suk chooses to get a flick on the forehead from Kwang-soo, but just like Jae-suk did to Kwang-soo a few episodes back, Kwang-soo is going to save the forehead flick for another time. LOL. And so we move on to the third and final mission: Dice of Fate. Each member has a dice and gets to decide how they want to decorate their dice with their dots. The amount of dots they have depended on the amount of crown badges that they earned over the course of the missions. The more crown badges you have, the more advantageous you are.
After distributing the dots on their respective dices, it’s now time for the members to roll their dice. Each member will receive two turns to roll the dice and whoever has the higher number after adding up both numbers ultimately wins first place. Haha spins first and gets 8 dots. Not bad. Se-chan isn’t as lucky as his dice lands on the side with zero. Kwang-soo has high hopes that his dice will land on the side with 27 dots, but it sadly doesn’t and his count is only one.
So-min and Jong-kook too land on the side with zero. Meanwhile, Ji-hyo only gets two dots. It’s Suk-jin’s turn and no one has any high expectations. However, to their surprise, Suk-jin throws his dice into the air and lands on the side with 20 dots. LOL. Everyone is in disbelief at the sight of the 20 dots and grows nervous. Jae-suk hopes to also achieve similar results like Suk-jin, but he’s not as lucky. He gets nothing. Hahaha.
For the second and final round, Haha lands on 9 dots so he has a total of 17 dots (8 from the first round). He feels safe in second place. Se-chan gets 9 as well while Kwang-soo only lands on 1 dot again. So-min isn’t as lucky either as her dice lands on 3. If anything, she beat Kwang-soo since she has 3 total while he only has 2. LOL. Ji-hyo too lands on 9 dots so she’s not last if anything. As for Jong-kook, he lands on 0 again so he is in last place. Jae-suk lands on a lucky seven so he too isn’t last. Meanwhile, it’s finally Suk-jin’s turn again. Since he got 20 the first time around, he can’t possibly get it again right? However, Suk-jin proves everyone wrong and fights against all odds. On his second try, he lands on the side with 20 dots AGAIN. He is obviously the winner.
It’s now penalty time. Each member will throw some water at the next person in line. However, the item they each use to throw the water will differ depending on the ranks. Since Suk-jin won first place, he’s excluded from the penalty. Haha’s water is merely thrown from just a small cup of water, Ji-hyo’s from a slightly larger cup while Se-chan is thrown water from a ladle. Lol. Jong-kook suffers the worst as last place as Kwang-soo pours a bucket of water onto his head.
Ultimately, Suk-jin is declared the winner of the race while Jong-kook finishes last. It’s been a while since this has happened so it’s a historic moment.
THIS EPISODE WAS SO SO GOOD AND FUN! I loved every single part of it. From the games and missions to the plot twists to the simplicity of it all, this episode had everything. I don’t even know how to describe how I felt about this episode. All I know is that it was one of the best Running Man episodes we’ve had in a while.
One of the biggest positives about this episode was the fact that every mission/game was so simple. There weren’t any complicated rules or twists, there weren’t extra rules, regulations, and restrictions, the members didn’t have to go anywhere or travel far just to win. Each mission was so simple and that’s why it was so entertaining. The members could participate in the games without having to do too much. I also liked the fact that there was an absolute member in each mission. That just added some extra excitement and mystery that made the games a lot more interesting than if we didn’t have it. Along with the extra touch of the absolute member, it was fun watching the members accuse one another and conclude who they believed was the absolute member. I loved how Kwang-soo was immediately suspected to be the member or how Se-chan exploded in anger when it was revealed that he wasn’t the absolute member. I really liked the aspect of the absolute member; it was as if the absolute member was a spy without the label ‘spy’ actually attached.
The second mission with the doors was just as fun. It’s a gamble as you had to choose wisely or else you were not only going to lose but also fall into water or mud. While I didn’t necessarily buy how the members came to the conclusion that it was Jae-suk who was the absolute member (I was leaning more towards Kwang-soo because he seemed more suspicious lol), the game was overall fun. I also liked how the members were ranked every time. Whether it was through the roulette or through the phone call or based on your sense of fashion, this allowed different rankings every time. I liked that the same member wasn’t always first and that there were different rankings every time. The rankings weren’t repetitive and they came about from a logical standpoint so that was nice to see (I also noticed that there wasn’t really any game in this episode that was based off of strength which was nice because I feel like Running Man games are usually strength-related which can be disadvantageous to basically everyone but Jong-kook which isn’t always fair).
Man, that last game though was what won me over. The first two games were already great and then the last game with the dice was even more enticing and fun. Maybe it’s because it has actually been a hot while since Suk-jin’s won and Jong-kook’s lost that I found the game so satisfying. It was fun to watch some members go all in and place all their dots on a single side while some other members play it more safe just in case. I’m just thinking about what I would have done if I was in their position and have come to the conclusion that I would have also done the same thing as Kwang-soo and Suk-jin and place most of my dots on one side, lol. Regardless, this game was fun and I was just happy to see Suk-jin get so lucky in this game after countless episodes of losing and being identified as the weakest cast member. Granted, he might not be as strong as the other members, but he came out victorious in this episode. It was kind of like an underdog story; Suk-jin proved everyone wrong and I think even he himself was surprised at his win.
Maybe a partial reason as to why I enjoyed this episode so much was because there weren’t any guests. I’ve been vocal about my thoughts and opinions on guests on Running Man and while I generally find guests appearance a hit or miss, episodes without guests are usually better for me. This episode is no exception and I enjoyed this episode from start to finish. Everything about it was perfect and satisfying. Something tells me this episode is the episode that I’m going to be re-watching over and over again until I find another one that impresses me just as much. As mentioned before, Running Man when simple is the best. This episode is an example of that and so much more.
Bonus: Extra screenshots from this episode 🙂